four megacities combined

Introduction to City Planning 5: The City of Tomorrow

This fifth and final course of the "Introduction to City Planning" series discusses the key challenges facing cities in the future, as well as some potential solutions.

  • English
  • 56 Mins
  • Published
What You Will Learn
  • Understand the evolution of contemporary planning by comparing previous movements and the origins of modern design, social reform, policies ,and politics. 

  • Identify key global shifts in the cultural, economic, political, and industrial relationships and hierarchies between and across different cities. 

  • Recognize how city planning as a discipline emerged from the ideas of writers, politicians, architects, designers, and social reformers. 

  • Compare and contrast the ways that technology and innovations change cities and the way planners must plan for cities, from the aqueduct to the railroad and the automobile and looking into the future to consider the implications of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence. 

  • Critically evaluate how historical planning movements were successful (and we still borrow from them) but also how they failed, and how and why some cities rose while others fell. This is especially important in understanding and reckoning with the "City of Tomorrow." 

  • Recognize and assess the relationships between planning, the economy, politics and society—the way that industrial innovation gave rise to revolutions and transformative social movements, and make links to the contemporary urban world. 

This course considers lessons learned from the urban past, and the current challenges facing cities, in order to look forward, or "upstream."

More than half of the world’s population is "urban," according to the United Nations, and this proportion will continue to increase. Much of this increase will be focused in the non-west, in places like South Asia and Africa. Current and future challenges like climate change, environmental injustice, socio-political unrest and division, and the rise of robots and artificial intelligence are all real, crucial, and time-sensitive.

The previous four modules of the "Introduction to City Planning" series reviewed how city planning evolved into what it is today. This course evaluates the key challenges facing cities in the future and, importantly, some potential solutions for those challenges. Cities are both the cause of many of the world’s problems and the focal points for best practices, innovation, and even sustainability. No matter what form the future takes, it will most certainly be urban.


This course is approved for 1 AICP CM credit


This course is approved for 1 CNU-A credit.